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Illustrated Changes to the NEC, 2002 Edition - Part 1

Article 110

Requirements For Electrical Installations

110.26 Spaces About Electrical Equipment

The intent of the requirements for "dedicated equipment space" located indoors was completely revised and the rule reads:

(F) Dedicated Equipment Space. All switchboards, panelboards, distribution boards, and motor control centers must be located in dedicated spaces and protected from damage.
(1) Indoors. Indoor installations must comply with the following.
(a) Dedicated Electrical Space. The space equal to the width and depth of the equipment extending from the floor to a height of 6 ft. above the equipment or to the structural ceiling, whichever is lower, must be dedicated to the electrical installation. No piping, ducts, or other equipment foreign to the electrical installation can be installed in this dedicated space. Figure 110–10

Exception: Suspended ceilings with removable panels are permitted in the dedicated space.

(b) Foreign Systems. The area above the dedicated space can contain foreign systems, provided protection is installed to protect electrical equipment from condensation, leaks, or breaks in such foreign systems. Figure 110–11

(c) Sprinkler Protection. Sprinkler protection is permitted to spray water into the dedicated space, but the sprinkler piping itself must not be located within the dedicated space area.

Intent: The revised text makes it easier to understand that the dedicated space above switchboards, panelboards, distribution boards, and motor control centers (up to 6 ft) must be kept clear of foreign items, except that suspended ceilings with lift-out panels are permitted in this space

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